I need another cup of coffee. I need a vacation. I need something interesting to write about today. All I’ve got are cucumber cocktails. Happy hour, anyone?
Come on over. I have chilled cocktails in the fridge and an overgrown-yet-very-green backyard with two patio chairs. Sitting out there sounds much more appealing than tending to my inbox or addressing the technical difficulties that never.stop.coming.
Maybe I can entice you with a description of this cold cucumber cocktail. I know I can’t resist a cucumber drink on restaurant menus. Cucumber cocktails are the epitome of refreshing: light, summery and hydrating.
It’s no wonder restaurants call these gin and lime numbers by other names, though. “Gimlet” sounds like “piglet” and, as such, doesn’t sound nearly sexy enough to describe this drink. Gimlets are composed of gin, lime juice and a touch of sweetener. Something magical happens when these basic ingredients are shaken with ice and strained into a martini glass.
I muddled cucumber and mint into my gimlet to make it extra enticing. The key to making this drink spectacular is to use good gin (preferably Hendrick’s, which has cucumber notes) and a good cucumber (peel it first in case the skin is bitter). Gin haters, you can substitute vodka, but gin is really lovely here. So, happy hour?
- 2-inch slice of peeled cucumber, halved and then quartered
- 10 mint leaves
- 1½ teaspoons light agave nectar or simple syrup
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1½ ounces gin, preferably Hendrick’s
- In a cocktail shaker, muddle the cucumber, mint and agave nectar until the cucumber offers no more resistance.
- Fill the shaker with ice, then pour in the lime juice and gin. Put the lid on your shaker and shake until the cocktail is thoroughly chilled, about 20 seconds.
- Strain the mixture into a martini glass. Garnish with a tiny sprig of mint, if you'd like.
Preparation tips: If you're going to be making a lot of these, you might want to make cucumber juice like I did in this watermelon-cucumber cocktail instead of muddling tons of cucumber.
Change it up: You can use vodka if you don't like gin. Other ideas: substitute basil for mint, and/or add a little splash of St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and/or muddle some fresh jalapeño with the cucumber.
If you love this recipe: You'll also love my beautiful red bell cocktail (red bell pepper, basil and gin), grapefruit, gin and rosemary honey cocktail and bootleg cocktail (blended mint lemon-limeade with any liquor).